We talk to 22-year old Mohammed Ziena, AKA Moseqar, to find out about his unique talent to create and remix catchy tunes that's helped him amass thousands of followers...
We were kind of blown away when we stumbled upon 22-year-old Mohammed Ziena. the uber talented Egyptian producer who goes by the name of Moseqar has seemed to go under the radar of many in Egypt’s Electronic music scene, maybe because he is yet to have played many live gigs but his SoundCloud alone has over 22,000 followers, and after having a listen through his online discogoraphy it was easy to see why. Your Love, for instance, is an absolutely seamless and original sample cut, headphones-at-nightime track rooted in Hip-Hop and Trap, while Words takes a more soulful, ethereal turn with beautifully harmonised synth arps and piano melodies. Escape is a Chill-Step journey that makes you want to get up your ass and climb a mountain in solitude.
To say it in a word or two, the boy knows what he’s doing. Moseqar also has a huge catalogue of ear perking remixes, taking well known Pop songs from the likes of Rihanna and Ellie Goulding and making them, well, cool, injecting chill glitch cuts and slick beats, even taking a Miley Cirus track and giving it an unexpected Egyptian/Oriental sound. We reached out to the beat-maker whose debut album is soon to be released to find out more…
Tell us a bit about yourself aside from producing. Where did you grow up?
My name is Mohamed Zien, I’m 22 years old and I’m a freak for anything artistic. I suffer from Peter-Pan Syndrome. I was born in Egypt and I live here currently. I grew up in both Canada and Egypt and have been going back and forth ever since I was a kid. I studied Architecture and at the moment I’m working on music till god knows when.
When and how did you get into music production?
I got into the whole production field when I was about 17-18. I started making beats for a Rap group I was in just because we wanted to create our own sound instead of jacking beats online and then after that I got introduced into remixing; that’s when I really started to get in to it.
Are you signed to a label?
Nope, not at the moment.
It seems your making a name for yourself as a talented remix artist. Why the focus on remixes and Pop remixes specifically?
I’m not really focused on certain genres when it comes to remixes, I just work on music that I like or have an idea for. When working on a remix I look at it as starting from scratch, changing the state or the overall mood of the original song and making it into my own. In other words, designing an atmosphere which is more suitable from my perspective.
Would you say Hip-Hop is the most influential genre in your music?
Yes, I would say so. Growing up I was heavily influenced by Hip-Hop, it just had that rhythm and emotion no other genre had so I instantly fell in love with it and till this day I’m still a huge fan of all of its elements.
What do you use to produce?
I use Fl studio as my DAW and a Novation MIDI keyboard. In the beginning I used to only use my laptop to produce music which a lot of people questioned! It was all I had at the time and it’s really not about having a room full of machines to make music, just use what’s necessary to craft your work.
What are your favourite techniques to use whilst producing?
I love chopping stuff up, I even sample my own material sometimes. I also like adding bits of movie scenes or speeches related to the music composed which can be heard in many of my tracks. Messing around and experimenting with the vocal pitches and arrangements, reversing stuff, reverbs, are all traits that can be pointed out in my music.
Do you have a musical background? Play any instruments?
No not really, I used to take piano lessons as a kid but I don’t remember learning anything, I just wanted to jump straight to playing something so, it didn’t last long. I remember playing the trumpet and the trombone in music class but, I just loved messing around on the piano keys playing what I felt was good.
Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
Ella Eyre, Beyoncé, James Arthur, Jhene Aiko. The Killers, Banks, Foxes, Pharrell.
Who are your favourite local Egyptian artists at the moment?
I’m not really following any of the mainstream artists here, I think it’s just become a steady loop of the same songs over and over again, it just lacks creativity from my point of view. I do listen to dope underground music though and a few up and coming musicians like Indie artist Malak and Egyptian rapper Deeb.
Favourite track you have produced?
Daydream. I think it just takes you to a whole different state and makes you reflect upon your dreams and intuitions, somehow it makes things clearer. I guess it was only after the dreamy guitar riff that it was necessary to name it Daydream just because you can feel that summer breeze, lay down, gaze at the sky type of vibe. It took me on a journey whilst making it and, from the feedback, I feel I took others on a trip too.
What inspires you outside of music?
I’m really inspired by anything art related whether it be film, paintings, nature, digital art. Traveling and seeing new people and cultures I think is very inspirational and helps open up new ideas for me. Going some place quiet from all the city noise is always an opportunity to clear my head and start off fresh.
What do you think of the music scene in Egypt at the moment?
I think the whole underground scene is definitely expanding and gaining approval from local listeners, which I think is great. I’ve definitely seen several festivals dedicated to electronic music also supporting local acts. When it comes to the music itself I think it’s really cool to see several artists break the norm of mainstream music and create something different.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
One of my ultimate dreams is to perform my music live with an orchestra somewhere beautiful. It would definitely be a different experience played live, so hopefully after five years I can accomplish that and make it happen.